Wild Garlic Pesto Taglierini

with an egg yolk

It’s lovely to substitute wild garlic in for basil in this pesto whilst it’s in season. If you prefer it less garlicky, you can swap out roughly 30g of the wild garlic for fresh parsley, for a more toned down version. I use the smaller, young wild garlic leaves rather than the older ones from the plants that are already in bloom.

If you want to make fresh taglierini yourself, just follow the recipe and method for fresh pasta in this recipe here using type 00 flour, and set your pasta machine to a very narrow setting suitable for taglierini pasta when you come to rolling out and slicing up the dough. Otherwise, you can also use dried taglierini.

I used my Uncle Tom’s cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from his grove in Abruzzo for this recipe, which has a beautifully low acidity and a delicious pepperiness that complements the wild garlic. This dish is all about natural flavours and simplicity, showcasing some of nature’s finest.

Makes approximately 215g pesto (or enough for 3-4 portions)

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE WILD GARLIC PESTO
  • 70g wild garlic leaves (or combined with fresh parsley for a toned down version)
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 40g grated Parmesan
  • 60-80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly grated black pepper, to season
  • FOR THE TAGLIERINI
  • allow approximately 100g fresh taglierini per person, or 65g dried taglierini per person
  • 1 egg yolk per person, to serve (optional)
  • extra grated Parmesan, to serve (optional)

METHOD

Wash your wild garlic and drain of any excess water.

Blend all your ingredients for the pesto in a small blender, adding the olive oil gradually – stop when you have reached the desired consistency (I prefer to keep it a bit thicker so only add 60ml of oil, plus a generous squeeze of lemon). Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Cook the taglierini according to the instructions and drain. Stir through the pesto. Place an egg yolk on the top of each portion if desired, to be broken into the hot pasta while eating. Season with a little extra black pepper and top with extra Parmesan if you like. Serve immediately.

Any leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight jar – cover the surface of it with a little extra olive oil before sealing the jar. Store in the fridge, and it will keep for several days.

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